A probe has been instigated by Datenwada authorities into a recent incident in which Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers allegedly molested girls studying at a state-run residential school during a cultural programme held ahead of Raksha Bandhan in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.
Dantewada Collector Saurabh Kumar told the media, “On August 1, three girls complained to the hostel warden that they were searched by CRPF jawans in the pretext of frisking. We have initiated a probe and an FIR under Protection of Children and Sexual Offences (POSCO) has been lodged at Kuakonda police station."
According to police the incident allegedly took place on July 31 during a Raksha Bandhan programme organised by the CRPF troopers at a residential school at Palnar village under Kuakonda Police station jurisdiction.
The Dantewada collector informed the media that he along with the district superintendent of police and CRPF deputy inspector general spoke to the victims and other girls in presence of a woman officer and the school warden.
“The girls told us that they were physically searched by a CRPF jawan when they were returning from toilet,” added Kumar.
He further added that a five-member team has been formed to probe the allegations.
The five-member probing committee includes Dantewada zila panchayat chief executive officer, Dantewada additional superintendent of police, sub-divisional magistrate, district education officer and a tehsildar.
The district collector also told the media that they are in regular contact with CRPF officials.
“CRPF is also investigating the matter at its level,” added Kumar.
However, local activists have accused the administration of ‘trying to cover up the issue.’
Aam Aadmi Party leader Soni Sori told the PTI that she was not allowed to talk to the girls inside the hostel campus.
“Girls who study in the school and stay in the nearby village told me that some security personnel followed the girls to the toilet, where they molested them,” said Sori.
CRPF is deployed in the Chhattisgarh to tackle Left-wing extremism. Dantewada is part of the CPI-Maoist red corridor. The district has witnessed the worst of the attacks against the joint security forces engaged in anti-insurgency operation.